Some of the scenery from Laguna Atascosa
Laguna Atascosa is home to tropical birds that you won't see elsewhere in the United States.
Some of those birds are
(The first two photos were taken in March)
The reason for going to South Padre Island wasn't to see the tourist trap. The reason was Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.
On the most southern tip of Texas, along the shores of the Laguna Madre, dense patches of thorny brush rise among unique wind-blown clay dunes called “lomas.” In a region of Texas some call the last great habitat, thorn forest intermingles with freshwater wetlands, coastal prairies, mudflats and beaches. Here, where tropical and temperate zones overlap, the endangered ocelot silently hunts within the brushlands, white-tailed deer browse on a banquet of plants, aplomado falcons soar above the grasslands and nearly half of all the bird species found in the continental United States rest, feed, nest and migrate.
South Texas, Laguna Atascosa NWR in particular, is the last stronghold in the United States for the ocelot, a small cat that once roamed from South Texas up into Arkansas and Louisiana. This species has been reduced to approximately 50 animals in the United States. This is due primarily to loss of habitat.
The dense thorn forest that once covered much of the Rio Grande delta is hunting ground for the small, nocturnal cat. With the clearing of the brushlands, ocelots are forced to cross open fields and risk the dangers of vehicular traffic and predators, such as dogs. Increasingly isolated on these ‘islands of brush’, the ocelot’s genetic viability is of growing concern to biologists.
While the beautiful beaches and weather draw many to South Padre Island, many come because it is a place that caters to tourists. Much of it colorful, or gawdy. How better to draw the attention of the tourist, than to paint the building for your business bright colors?
Some of them offer t-shirts for $1.99 and sweatshirts for $3.99. Wonder how well they survive their first trip through the washer? Does the irony of the name of this tourist trap appeal to anyone else?
The name of this establishment amused me
The paint has faded on this building, but I like the water tower that shows through under the thatched roof on the left. I believe that the water tower is for the Border Patrol Detention Center. That center was previously known by many as the Border Patrol Academy.
I'm going to do one more post with my favorite photo from South Padre Island.